Desert Rose Plant - Knowledgebase Question

Question by paradise5
June 3, 2010
I was given a beautiful Desert Rose plant and it had many beautiful blooms on it. Now, all the blooms have fallen off. Is this normal and how do I get the blooms back? Does it need a special type of fertilizer? I gave it some Hyponex plant food granules recently. The plant is outside in a pot and gets plenty of light. We water it a few times a week. A few of the leaves a yellow. Thanks,Rose

Answer from NGA
June 3, 2010


The Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) is a native of East Africa. It will grow from 6 1/2 to 10 feet in the wild but usually remains smaller in a container. It has fleshy leaves and beautiful 2-inch pink open-trumpet shaped flowers. It is a succulent, and forms more of a bush than a tree. The desert rose plant cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and gardening experts recommend to grow in containers in cooler climates so that they can be protected in the winter.

Water your desert rose often enough to keep the soil consistently moist during hot weather but allow the soil to dry completely between waterings in the winter.

Your plant may go dormant in the winter. Watch the plant for signs of dormancy, which include the sudden yellowing and dropping of leaves. Cut back on watering at this point. When temperatures drop to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, place the desert rose in a cool, dry area (light is unimportant during dormancy) and water it once a month with plain water. Wait until you see new growth in the spring before resuming regular watering again. Your plant will bloom in about a 6 week cycle, usually in late spring, again in summer and once again in mid fall. Enjoy your desert rose!

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